September 3, 2020 – The recent denial of 3M Company’s attempt to have the courts dismiss litigation from 150,000 veterans suffering hearing loss or tinnitus from faulty earplugs means one of the country’s largest multi-district cases is moving closer to settlement or trial. “It doesn’t mean the plaintiffs win, but it means they can pursue their state tort claims,” said Michael Green, a torts professor and scholar at Wake Forest University School of Law in North Carolina.
This is just the latest step in a lengthy dispute between 3M and the government, as well as individuals, stemming from a 2016 whistleblower suit brought by a 3M competitor. It alleged that earplugs manufactured by Aearo Technologies, which 3M acquired in 2008, were faulty and led to hearing impairments for American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015.
Reference: Smith, Katherine Snow, 3 September 2020, Thousands of Veterans Suing Over 3M Earplugs are Closer to Resolution, accessed 20 October 2020 https://www.legalexaminer.news/health/thousands-of-veterans-suing-over-3m-earplugs-are-closer-to-resolution
Thayer, Rose L., 29 April 2020, Judge Unseals Hundreds of Pages of Documents in Veterans’ Lawsuit Against 3M Over Earplugs, accessed 20 October 2020 https://www.stripes.com/veterans/judge-unseals-hundreds-of-pages-of-documents-in-veterans-lawsuit-against-3m-over-earplugs-1.627827